The Giants signed Vereen to augment their running backs corps with a third-down playmaker who could catch the ball out of the backfield and make plays with the ball in his hands. The role offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo has in mind is the one David Wilson was supposed to play last season before neck injuries forced him into early retirement. However, Vereen brings something else in addition to his pass-catching ability on third downs. The Giants also like Vereen as a pass protection running back, which mean they believe he can help their passing game in a variety of ways.
Rashad Jennings will open the season as the early-down back, with Vereen mixing in. But if the Giants' shaky offensive line can't protect Eli Manning, Vereen could end up with more snaps than originally thought. We already know he's going to handle a majority of passing downs, no-huddle and two/four-minute drill work. Vereen was utilized heavily as a runner during OTAs.
Jennings would be the ultimate weapon in the Giants' backfield, but his penchant for injury has the Giants looking to split up the RB responsibilities early on. It's not so much the pass protection as it is the reliability factor when it comes to Jennings.
Vereen (5'10", 205) is not as big Jennings (6'1", 231), nor is he as physical. But he seems to be a more clutch player than Jennings. By having him on the field more, the Giants have more options in their game plan. As for Andre Williams, the Giants still see him as a limited-use player. He'll be relegated to short-yardage and goal line duty until he can show that he's more than that.
Vereen was signed to add versatility and depth to the running game, but after seeing more of him up close, the Giants believe he can do more than just fill in the blanks in their backfield this season.